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portrait of Kate Fernie

Kate Fernie

Director , 2Culture Associates

Share3D - helping the cultural heritage sector to tell stories

The advent of 3D technology is bringing new opportunities for the cultural heritage sector, offering innovative ways to provide access to heritage for education, tourism, research and enjoyment. However, it also throws up new challenges - how best to embrace 3D given access to new technologies and the speed of technological change? In this post, Kate Fernie and Dimitris Gavrilis tell us about Share3D, a Europeana Generic Services project which uses 3D as a driver to encourage people to explore and re-use cultural heritage content.

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About Share3D

Share3D (fully titled ‘Sharing New Perspectives: Your 3D View on Europeana’) began as a Europeana Generic Service Project funded under CEF Telecom Programme. It was developed out of an idea to use 3D as a way to encourage people to explore and re-use cultural heritage content. We were aware that increasing numbers of cultural heritage institutions and researchers were uploading 3D content to the 3D modelling platform Sketchfab and we wanted to provide a tool to make it easier for them to share this content with Europeana. The project brought this to life through the Share3D Dashboard, and also developed the Share3D Storymaker, which allows users to create stories that incorporate 3D content and other media from Europeana and Sketchfab.

Share3D Dashboard 

The Share3D Dashboard is a cloud-based service that allows users to link their Sketchfab accounts and log in to select published models that they would like to share with Europeana. The Sketchfab metadata are then imported back to the dashboard where users can edit it to add the information needed to conform with Europeana’s specifications. The edited metadata records can then be submitted to Europeana from the Share3D Dashboard via the CARARE aggregator. Find out more about the process through Share3D’s user guide.

The dashboard is ideal for:

  • Cultural heritage institutions who are capturing their collections in 3D.

  • Researchers (including archaeologists, historic buildings experts, curators) who are capturing monuments, landscapes, excavation findings, historic buildings and urban areas in 3D.

  • Creators of 3D models that depict cultural heritage objects.

  • All those who want to create an XML formatted metadata record that conforms to Europeana’s EDM schema.

Share3D Storymaker

The Share3D Storymaker enables users to explore, create and experience 3D objects as stories. The Storymaker allows people to search for content from Sketchfab and Europeana, to upload their own images and to use this content to create stories. 

The Storymaker is ideal for:

  • Educational purposes: for example, teachers can invite their students to create stories about an aspect of cultural heritage (the arts, history, landscapes) and encourage them to re-use the content that is available on Europeana and Sketchfab.

  • Tourism: for example, a 3D story of a monument can be used as the basis for a tourist guide, allowing visitors to visualise the monument and its history.

  • Creative industries: for example, using 3D content to attract a viewers attention in a scene.

  • Curators who wish to use the objects in their collection to tell a story or to create an interactive resource.

  • Researchers who wish to use a 3D story to communicate with broad audiences. 

We see the Storymaker as an exciting way to trigger people’s curiosity about their own cultural heritage, to explore a protected monument through time, and to explore Europeana and discover the materials that illustrate different aspects of Europe’s history. 

Find out more

To find out more about the project and tools you can explore the Share3D website or browse the first set of Sketchfab models shared with Europeana through the Share3D dashboard.

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